In my mind, martial arts schools exist to be a positive influence in the community. Instructors strive to help their students improve their fitness, become more confident, meet new people, and have fun. That is essentially the mission of our dojo.
But there is also something to be said about getting involved in the community beyond those who train at the dojo. I believe in giving back to the world however I can. Over the past 3 months, I have made it my intention to engage in some form of selfless giving every day, recording my efforts on my blog, Giv’er 365. The dojo is just one more avenue that allows me to do so.
This coming August, we’re putting on a youth bully-proofing & self-defense class. Participation is by donation to BC Kids Help Phone with all proceeds from the class going towards the cause. When I was a child, I remember being bullied and feeling like I had no one to turn to for help. Kids Help Phone answers to this need and is a charitable non-profit that receives no funding from the government, being run entirely on donations from the community. I eventually worked through my situation, and martial arts was one of the things that helped me gain confidence, so it’s nice to be able to hold an event to help kids who may be in a similar situation to my own as a child.
Next Monday, we’re also doing a Water Balloon Revenge Day at our dojo as a joint event run in conjunction with BCIT Jiu-jitsu. Basically we’re selling all our students the opportunity to throw a water balloon at either of the three Sensei from the two dojos for $5 per balloon. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the community of Sicamous, BC which was recently ravaged by flooding. Sicamous is where the Canadian Jiu-jitsu Union holds their Western Canadian summer training camp every year so many of the dojos are doing some sort of fundraiser like bottle drives, etc to raise funds to help them out. Check out the video below to see the news report on what happened to Sicamous.
Does your dojo believe in community involvement? If so, what ways does your dojo give back? It would be great to hear more ideas for the future so please share in the comments.